Missing executive reports became a source of contention once again during the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) Board of Directors meeting on December 7, as several directors raised concerns about executives failing to submit their reports on time.
To ensure accountability, the UTSU’s policy manual requires each executive to submit a monthly executive report. These reports must be accessible at least four days prior to each month’s board meeting.
Only two executives submitted their executive reports on time for this month’s meeting – Vice-President University Affairs Joshua Grondin and Vice-President Professional Faculties Yasmine El Sanyoura.
The remaining five executives — President Anne Boucher, Vice-President Operations Tyler Biswurm, Vice-President External Affairs Yuli Liu, Vice-President Equity Ammara Wasim, and Vice-President Student Life Yolanda Alfaro — did not have their reports available in the meeting package by the date of the meeting.
“We all understand that we’re students, and it gets difficult, but that’s what we said last month, and the month before that,” said Social Sciences Director Joshua Bowman. “So I’d just like to encourage the Executives to speak about it.”
Boucher, attending the meeting online, apologized for not sending her report on time and also apologized on behalf of Liu. She cited an “intensive week in Ottawa” with the Undergraduates of Canadian Research Intensive Universities, a group of eight student unions, as a reason for her lateness.
Boucher added that “there is no excuse for having a late report I will do my best to ensure this does not happen again on our end.” She further apologized for her and Liu’s absence from the meeting, saying that they would be “happy to complete” the reports by the end of that day.
Alfaro also apologized to the board, saying that she had three assignments and a midterm on the due date, and that she was willing to send in a report or record of her hours sheet after the meeting.
Bowman said that this is a “consistent problem” that has been going on since meetings in the summer. He highlighted consequences of absences of the executive reports, such as how a lack of reports makes it difficult for directors to find out how to get involved with the executives’ initiatives.
Innis College Director Lucas Granger also pressed the executives to send their reports on time, suggesting that, at the minimum, they submit their log of hours before board meetings.
Since the executive reports are available to all students in the UTSU’s membership, newly-appointed University College Director Tyler Riches noted that the executives “also owe it to the membership to be transparent about what they’re doing, so that students who pay the student union know what their executives are doing.”
New College Director Arjun Singh also requested that the executives send out their late executive reports after the exam period but before the next board meeting on January 14.
Resignations, new General Manager, lobbying for menstrual products
The board also confirmed the appointments of Rahemeen Ahmed as Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering Director, as well as Lina Maragha and Riches as University College Directors, replacing the previous directors who resigned in October.
Furthermore, the board also confirmed the hiring of Suzanne Belleau as the UTSU’s General Manager. This move comes five months after the previous General Manager left in June after only two months on the job.
The board voted to give Belleau signing authority and she began employment on December 10.
“For those who don’t know necessarily what a signing authority entails,” said Biswurm, “it’s simply the case that this gives a person to whom is delegated the ability to bind the UTSU to contractual obligations, financial agreements, and so forth.”
Grondin also updated the board about his lobbying for increased access to menstrual products on campus.
“We were just notified by Hart House that they’ll be expanding to provide free menstrual products, hopefully in all washrooms of the building next year,” said Grondin.
“They currently have them in the washrooms of the Athletic Centre change room, for the woman-identified change room — so that’s one place they’ll be expanding next year, and they are trying to do it.”